Serious Christians long for revival (or reformation) and I have some good news for you, if you find yourself among that number. Consult the history books or, better yet, dig into the Scriptures. As you survey the collapse of Christian power and influence in the west, when you witness the open hostility and intolerance toward those who follow Jesus from both secularist and nominal Christians everywhere, and you see reports of persecution on an Apocalyptic scale around the world, you can be sure that revival is either here or on the doorstep. By the way, reformation and revival appear to be in full swing throughout Africa, Central/South America and Asia. For Americans, the revival we pray and work toward probably holds some unpleasant surprises – it always has.
Reformation is to many of us, as the Messiah was to the Jews. Before he came, they looked and longed for him, and boasted of him and rejoiced in hope of him; but when he came they could not abide him, but hated him, and would not believe that he was indeed the person, and therefore persecuted and put him to death… So it is with too many about reformation. They hoped for a reformation, that would bring them more wealth and honour with the people, and power to force men to do what they would have them: and now they see a reformation, that must put them to more condescension and pains than they were ever at before.
But, we have a more sure word than the testimony of Baxter:
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another. If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.” (John 15:16–21 ESV)
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